Where Are All the Heretical Bishops in the Second Century?

I’ve noticed that Michael Bird has recently posted an article on heresy and orthodoxy in early Christianity. From what I can tell (I can’t see the entire article because it’s behind the paywall), he is pushing back against the popular narrative, originally suggested by Walter Bauer in his 1934 book Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity, which insists that Christianity was wildly diverse in the earliest centuries and that the heretics outnumbered the orthodox. It was not until the 3rd and 4th centuries, according to Bauer, that the orthodox began to turn the tide.

But I think there’s an additional way to test Bauer’s theory. Let’s ask a simple …

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Thankful for Larry W. Hurtado

Well, it’s Thanksgiving Day, 2021. And there’s much to be thankful for this year, like any other year. But, I want to take a moment to remember my friend, mentor and Doktorvater, Larry W. Hurtado. After all, today marks the two-year anniversary of his passing (Nov 25th, 2019).

While most of the readers of this blog will be familiar with Larry and his scholarship, just a quick word for those who are not. Larry retired in 2011 from his post as Professor of New Testament, Language, Literature, and Theology at the University of Edinburgh (where he had served since 1996). Prior to that time, he was a professor …

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What is a “Gospel” Anyway? A Few Thoughts on Gospel Genre and Why it Matters

When it comes to reading (and interpreting ) the Gospels, one of the fundamental questions pertains to the kind of document we are reading.  What exactly is a “Gospel”?  And did the earliest readers of these books know what they were reading?

Such questions may seem pedantic to the average reader, but they matter more than we think.  Right interpretation is built on (among other things) correctly assessing the literary genre.  We don’t read parables like historical narrative, nor do we read poetry (Psalms) like apocalyptic literature.

An example of confusion over “genre” in our modern world (though in a different medium) pertains to the growing practice of making internet …

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One of the Most Overlooked Reasons Why We Should Trust the Bible

When deciding what to believe about the Bible, who should we listen to?

That’s a rather basic question, and I suppose there are many possible answers. We could listen to our friends—maybe a roommate or a co-worker.  Then there are family members, maybe our parents or siblings. Surely they would have an opinion. Or we could look to our leaders, a pastor or professor who seems to be an “expert.”  And there’s always Google if we really want to know what to think!

But in the midst of all the options there is one person that, ironically, Christians (and non-Christians) overlook. Jesus.

Now, of course, Christians don’t overlook Jesus generally.  …

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How on Earth Did Jesus Become God?

Two weeks ago, I posted my tribute to Larry Hurtado upon his death from a long bout with cancer. Since, others have offered tributes as well, including those by Chris Keith, Greg Lanier, Tommy Wasserman, John Stackhouse, Helen Bond, Michael Bird, as well as by Larry’s own Doktorvater, Eldon Epp.

In addition, I have received a number of inquiries about how to get a quick introduction to Larry’s work, especially his contributions on early Christology.  After all, his Lord Jesus Christ is a bit lengthy for a quick overview of his arguments. So, let me recommend his briefer volume, How on Earth

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